Israeli winner of Berlin Film Festival: Israeli government is ‘fascist’


Israeli film-director Udi Aloni, 56, who won the top audience at Berlin Film Festival on Saturday, has labelled the Israeli government “fascist” and urged Germany to cease its military support to Israel.

At a Q&A session about his award-winning film Junction 48  hours before being presented with the Panorama Audience Award for best fiction film, Mr Aloni said Germany should stop supporting the “fascist regime of Israel”:

“Merkel does not mention the occupation and sells submarines to Netanyahu to continue such things.”

The 56-year-old also called Israel a “democracy of white people” and added that “in contrast to the [Israeli] prime minister who spreads hatred, my movie spreads love and co-existence.”

By the end of the session, he mentioned the Palestinian hunger-striker Mohammed al-Qiq as an example “non-Jews’ lack of rights in Israel”, saying that Qiq was dying in administrative detention without being accused of committing a crime.

In a response to Aloni’s comments, according to the Israeli Media, the Israeli Culture Minister Miri Regev said that Israel should not fund films that slander it, refering to the financial support that Aloni’s film received from Israel’s Culture Ministry.

“Aloni’s statements were a clear proof that artists who subvert the state, defame it and hurt its legitimacy should not be funded by the tax payer. A sane country should not assist slanderers and denouncers who malign it, immediately after drinking from its coffers,” Regev stated.

The Israeli film director later clarified to Channel 10 that his comments “were directed against the Israeli government and not against the country, which I love. In contrast to the prime minister who spreads hatred, my movie spreads love and co-existence.”

Last year, more than 3,000 artists, including some of the country’s most prominent actors and directors, signed a petition against Ms Regev’s policies.

فصهف“Junction 48” – whose is a Arabic-language film that features mostly Palestinian actors – tells the story of a Palestinian rap star and his girlfriend who live near Tel Aviv in the mixed Jewish-Palestinian city of Lod, known until recently as one of the main drug-running centers of the Middle East.

Actress Samar Qupty said it should be easy for Palestinians to identify with the movie, even though it depicts people living lives that are radically different from strict Muslim traditions.

Her character, for example, allows a picture of her face to be used on a poster advertising a hip-hop concert, prompting members of her family to say they plan to injure her if she performs.

“It’s still a revolutionary movie because it doesn’t talk about the way we Palestinians are usually represented in the world,” Qupty said.

“We are representing ourselves by the new generation without trying to prove anything to anyone, with our ‘goods’ and ‘bads’,” she told Reuters in an interview. “We are trying to present what is the real new generation trying to do without making the reality looking any better or any worse.”


Justice Department Wants Apple to Unlock Nine More iPhones – The New York Times

Still, “no one should be surprised that we’re investigating other cases and looking for assistance in those other cases,” a law enforcement official said on Tuesday. Since challenging a judge’s demand in the San Bernardino case, which called for Apple to create a special tool to help investigators more easily crack the phone’s passcode, the company has repeatedly asserted that such a move could not be done in isolation. “Once created, the technique could be used over and over again, on any number of devices,” Apple’s chief executive, Timothy D. Cook, said in a letter to customers. And in a note on its website on Monday, Apple said law enforcement agencies nationwide “have hundreds of iPhones they want Apple to unlock if the F.B.I. wins this case.” Apple has long maintained that it would hand over data to comply with a court order when it was technically able to do so. In a report covering the first six months of 2015, Apple said it had received nearly 11,000 requests from government agencies worldwide for information on roughly 60,000 devices, and it provided some data in roughly 7,100 instances.

Source: Justice Department Wants Apple to Unlock Nine More iPhones – The New York Times

The Death of Islamophobia: The Rise of Islamo-Racism | Race Files

Understanding the nature of Islamo-racism is also essential to understanding the contemporary realities of being “apparently Muslim.” In these communities, race and religion have commingled to form aspects of an othered identity which is not only outside of the mainstream, but one that has been criminalized by the State. Furthermore, Islam and Muslim Americans have been deceitfully vilified by influential political, religious, and media figures. As a consequence, visible religious identity has emerged as a primary factor rendering individuals vulnerable to the social degradation— and potential violence— that has plagued peoples of color throughout our history. Putting Islamo-racism in historical perspective also illuminates our understanding of an old societal disorder. The contemporary use of religion as a tool with which to differentiate and designate the “other” in public life— a space once occupied in our past by every community of color— mimics closely the role of race in our collective history. Once we historically contextualize Islamo-racism, we can see clearly how identity (or perceived identity) is again being deployed by demagogues to divide Americans, for personal gain. Ultimately, identifying Islamo-racism as a strain of racism illuminates a major impediment to building a more egalitarian nation, one in which people are judged for their character instead of their race, ethnic, or religious identity. By rejecting the fanciful specters conjured by the peddlers of this latest brand of American racism, we must stand against the rising tide of bigotry sweeping the nation with renewed vigor in the Age of Obama. If we cannot find the courage to fight this battle now, it will continue to vex future generations.

Source: The Death of Islamophobia: The Rise of Islamo-Racism | Race Files

Saudi Arabia, UAE urge citizens against traveling to Lebanon | News | DW.COM | 23.02.2016 {Cutting off noses to spite… themselves?}

Now, the countries’ anger has turned toward Lebanon for its support of Hezbollah, an Iran-backed, Shiite terrorist organization, as well as embattled President Bashar al Assad, whom those countries want to see ousted. Billions in aid halted Neither Saudi Arabia nor the UAE specified why they were calling on their citizens not to go to Lebanon. However, their announcement followed a decision by Saudi Arabia to halt a deal to arm the Lebanese army with some $4 billion (3.7 billion euros) in weapons, citing the country’s refusal to condemn the embassy attacks in Tehran. In a statement carried by Saudi Arabia’s state news agency, the government called Lebanon’s support for Iran “regrettable and unjustified” and “inconsistent with the fraternal relations between the two countries.” Relations in the Middle East have become fraught as Saudi Arabia and Iran compete for influence in the region. The two countries’ support for opposing sides in the ongoing Syrian conflict has contributed considerably to the tensions.

Source: Saudi Arabia, UAE urge citizens against traveling to Lebanon | News | DW.COM | 23.02.2016